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Atriplex halimus L.

Tree Purslane

Modern name

Atriplex halimus L.

A vigorous, semi-evergreen shrub 4 to 8 ft high, of loose, bushy habit, the whole plant of a beautiful, silvery-grey aspect. Leaves alternate, ovate, rhomboidal or obovate; 12 to 212 in. long, 14 to 1 in. wide; tapered at both ends, minutely and abruptly pointed, covered with a fine silvery scurf. Panicle terminal, 6 to 12 in. long, produced in July, the flowers very small, greenish.

Native of S. Europe; cultivated since early in the seventeeenth century. This is certainly the most attractive of the purslanes in this country, producing a very striking, silvery effect when planted in a group, especially in association with dark-leaved shrubs. It is also one of the best seaside shrubs. It is very rarely seen in blossom with us, but that does not detract much from its value. Severe frosts injure it, but it springs out afresh and soon recovers. Sparrows are said to be fond of the leaves, but I have never noticed them touch the plants at Kew.



Other species in the genus